ALL our hens have stopped laying.. what's up?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FrogDoc, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. FrogDoc

    FrogDoc Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Mid-Michigan
    We have 12 hens, five of which we've had about a year and the other 7 were hatched in May. About two months ago we noticed our egg production was dwindling from our five established hens and the others were just starting to lay one here or there. We also noticed they had worms, so my husband added a vermicide to their water, per the instructions. A few weeks later we were getting even fewer eggs and when I cleaned the coop I still saw worms, so my husband re-treated thinking the first time just didn't work.

    Well, now we were getting one to two eggs per day. It seems the whole flock shut down and I'm left wondering if we somehow poisoned them with the vermicide, because I'm not sure what else it could be. Last fall egg production tapered off a bit, but we still got several a day.

    Any ideas?? I'm so frustrated because I had to BUY eggs this weekend for the first time in two years. [​IMG]
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
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    First off, not all wormers work for getting rid of all worms. What wormer did you use? What did the worms you saw look like? By the time you see worms, their bodies are so overwhelmed.

    Secondly, this is the time of year that chickens molt. Are you seeing a lot of feathers lying around? Bare patches on your hens, or them looking raggedy? Chickens cannot lay eggs and molt, as they need all their protein for regrowing feathers. Once they are done replacing feathers and get their body weight back up, they can resume laying.
     
  3. FrogDoc

    FrogDoc Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Mid-Michigan
    I'm not sure what wormer it was because I didn't treat and he did so because the eggs we were getting were soiled and he read that was a sign of worms. Then I saw them in the droppings, which is when he re-treated. They were small white roundworms. I cleaned the coop out this weekend and saw nothing.

    They are molting, but not all of them are as affected as others. I know they usually slow down this time of year, but usually it's not this bad. I mean, we have 12 chickens capable of laying and we're getting an egg a day? I just have to think something else is going on.
     
  4. shaky6

    shaky6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2013
    Not so much the worm issue, but I've got the same thing going on. 1 or 2 eggs a day from 13 hens. I butchered a couple hens yesterday and they certainly weren't underfed, judging by the amount of body fat they had. Its frustrating to feed these bottomless pits every day and get nothing in return. I think I'm just going to keep a better eye on them in the morning, find out who is laying and mark them, and cull some of the others to thin the flock. Maybe they just need some survival motivation.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
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    How old are your hens? All hens will molt, so if you butcher them because they are taking a break from laying, you'll soon have no hens left.
     
  6. shaky6

    shaky6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2013
    10 months on the ones I butchered. And as far as I can tell, and from what I saw when I butchered, they haven't yet nor planned on laying any time soon.
     

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